Reflections on the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance’s Student Showcase

By Julia Cost

Sometimes, when I watch dance, it feels like falling into a black hole
Even before it has begun
something about the line of dancers shifting subtlely, eyes downcast
makes the air bend irrepressibly upon itself

Solo in front of crowd
Beneath half lowered lids she sees out and in at once
Hands crawl, pinch, extinguish, grip, hold, magnify
these things are coming out of her
with utter necessity and patience.
She is so fragile
and can fight to the death
There is a well of empathy
and reckless passion
there is a little girl
and she is very old
and there is regret
and she is so beyond concern
but she could not care more
and I realize that for a long time now,
I have been leaning forward, unblinking

There is another,
long and sinewy
In the groves behind her armpits and under her chin
you can see how unceasingly she fights
and many will surrender under her care
Hand outstretched at ultimate distance, she grips them as though she
has them in her arms

There is another
who looks like she laughs when she is uncomfortable
thin frame loose, untethered, and young
but when the pack leaves her in front of us
she becomes something inconceivably
This transformation rings in my head

for a long time afterwards

Pictured: Kelvin Vu, Sarah Lyman, Katie Cassady

Photos by Shannon Kurashige